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Author Topic: Gearing for war against cliches  (Read 740 times)

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Offline Mafioso55565

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Gearing for war against cliches
« on: August 28, 2016, 07:51:48 AM »
How can i take a story idea that is cliche and make it not cliche? In that the basic structure has been used time and time again IE. a standard romance, and turn it into something refreshing? I feel as though in romance specifically itll always follow a similar structure because romance itself its a linear plotline, i ask this question in aplication with a variety of genres though like action and sports.
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Offline Coryn

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Re: Gearing for war against cliches
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2016, 10:34:21 AM »
Well, a certain amount of cliche is a good thing. We only have 7 basic plots after all, so you will inevitably see stuff coming back around.

The key to something original is to mix things together in a unique way. In the same way a pizza and a burger might have the same basic ingredients (bread, meat, cheese, tomatoes, etc.), They get combined in very different ways, and you would never say they were the same product.

Romance is easy in particular, because there is no requirement for the setting, overall plot, or reasoning. People fall in love all the time for diff reasons, and at different rates. Vary up your timeline, keep the characters from ever being able to see what the other looks like, make one of them dead, make them both sentient stars commutating via solar radiation over the course of tens of billions of years.

It is also helpful to simply know the tropes common in the type of stories you're working on. Learn how to subvert them, and learn those best left alone.

And lastly remember that cliche does not equal bad. They're cliche for a reason, and it's not because of lazy writing. They're cliche because we like seeing them over and over. The human brain loves it a good pattern, don't deny it that completely

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Offline Philosotaku

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Re: Gearing for war against cliches
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2016, 12:59:45 PM »
Coryn makes some good points. It's certainly true that novelty is ultimately what makes a story interesting but sometimes having a few familiar components helps to ease the audience in. If you're looking for ways to think about how to make your story stand out I have a few suggestions: there are different kinds of novelty at different levels of the work. There is novelty on the micro levels of the work which is scene by scene (such as events, location and dialogue) and there is novelty on the macro levels with are structural (like plot, setting and characters); so, for example, a common setting is high school and a common location is a classroom; a common character is the moe girl while common dialogue is the "EHHHHHHHH!" thing; a common plot is defeat the evil empire while a common event is the final battle. Cliches come into play when parts of these different levels are similar to other works.

In romance you get away with a lot of cliches on the macro level. For example there's a common cliche plot-line where the story builds up to the first kiss and ends there. The story will inevitably revolve around the romantic tension of the characters and specific events that escalate the relationship to that point. But that's not to say an interesting story can't be told with this cliche plot. If your dialogue, events and characters are extremely unique you can get away with it.

Mix and match, try different things. Hope this helps.
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Offline Mafioso55565

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Re: Gearing for war against cliches
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2016, 06:35:18 PM »
I guess now that i think about it, your right.actually today i just started watching rwby again and realized that like you guys said, even if its cliche the dialougue and charecters are what really drive the piece. Romance i realize is something i always prefer mixed with other genres becauseit makes the plot a lot more intersesting.
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